Wednesday, November 02, 2011
The Group of Seven in London
Since I started this series of blogs about the Group of Seven, they seem to be everywhere. It's one of the things I've come to expect over the years I've been thinking about art - once I become fascinated with a subject, that subject starts to follow me.
I understand that these connections don't just pop up because I'm thinking about the Group of Seven - though it feels that way. I understand that they've always been there and that, suddenly, I'm noticing them.
This painting, Tom Thomson's The West Wind is an iconic Canadian painting and now it's everywhere I look.
This is a big connection - and I definitely didn't know this before I began writing about them. For the first time - although there was a small show in London many years ago - the Group of Seven is making a huge splash in Europe. I've heard it on the news, seen it in newspapers and magazines, seen it on TV shows.
And it all came about because a single curator (also the director) - Ian Dejardin - at the Dulwich Gallery in London had fallen in love with the Group of Seven's work. He plotted and planned for many years (having first seen the paintings 25 years ago) and there they are, the biggest collection of the Group of Seven ever assembled outside of Canada and maybe the biggest collection in one place at one time. After London, they're off to Amsterdam and Scandinavia.
This is what the Dulwich's website says about the Group of Seven:
"In the early twentieth century in Toronto, Canada, the first stirrings of a new movement of painting were being felt. A group of artists started to engage with the awesome Canadian wilderness, a landscape previously considered too wild and untamed to inspire ‘true’ art. Tom Thomson paved the way for this artistic collective, the Group of Seven, and their works have become revered in Canada. This exhibition will reintroduce their stunning impressions of the Canadian landscape to the British public for the first time since the 1920s."
It's nice to know that the rest of the world is getting to see some great Canadian paintings.